The Abortion Case: Roe vs… Wade Abstract Roe vs… Wade is one of the most controversial cases in U. S. History. The historic decision made by the U. S. Supreme Court in 1973 legalized abortion on a federal level. Now more than thirty years later people all over the country are trying to overturn the decision as well as striving to keep it Intact. A Texas law that made abortion a crime except when in the case of saving the mothers life was overruled by the united States Supreme Court on January 22, 1973 .
In 1970, abortion was illegal for women who live in many of the states of the U. S. Until woman by the name of Norma Newcomer also known as Jane Roe decided it was time to make a change. Newcomer was a resident of the State of Texas, and strongly believed that abortion went against the Fourteen Amendment and a women’s right to choose whether she would like to terminate her pregnancy. Background Norma Newcomer had found herself pregnant in the summer of 1969. She was poor and had Just lost her Job selling tickets for a traveling carnival.
At the time, Norma was 21 years of age and divorced, Her parents were raising her five year old daughter and Newcomer wanted to terminate her pregnancy. Texas law had prohibited abortion except in the case of saving the mother’s life. Norma Newcomer tried to fled a doctor that would perform an illegal abortion but she was unsuccessful. Newcomer was poor and could not afford to travel to another state where the abortion laws would be less strict. Just as she was losing hope she met Sarah Wedding and Linda Coffee- two attorneys who wanted to change the laws of abortion.
Texas Abortion Laws Texas passed its anti-abortion law in 1859. The law only punished the person/or persons performing or furnishing the means for an abortion. Even though the law id not punish the woman who was asking for an abortion it punished anyone who took part in the abortion procedure except for the purpose of saving the mother’s life. Hospitals could also lose their operating license for allowing an Illegal abortion to take place within their faceless.
Since the Texas abortion laws were so unclear many doctors and hospitals turned away most abortion cases to avoid significant penalties such as, a felony sanction of up to five years in Jail and/or revocation of their medical license. The national case- May 23, 1970 Norma Newcomer who was the plaintiff took on “Jane Roe” as her alias to protect her class action suit so that Newcomer could represent all pregnant women. The defendant was Henry B. Wade, the district attorney of Dallas County, Texas. Roe had two major hurdles to get over: 1.
A pregnant woman lacked standing to sue over a laws potential unconstitutionally since the law applied to medical practice (and not patients) (Dawn Stacey M. De, n. D. ) 2. Given the lengthiness of court proceedings, the case may be declared no longer applicable and thrown out of court once Newcomer gave birth ( or at least passed the point where an abortion could be safely performed) (Dawn Stacey M. De, n. D. The case was filed anyway with the agreement that the 1859 Texas abortion law violated a women’s constitutional right to have an abortion.
The attorneys in the case were Sarah Wedding and Linda Coffee who represented the plaintiff and John Tolled and Jay Floyd were chosen to represent the defendant; Tolled was selected to defend the enforcement of the Texas abortion law and Floyd was selected to defend the law itself. The case was argued first in the Fifth Circuit Court in Dallas before three Judges. The plaintiffs attorneys wanted the court to decide whether or not a pregnant woman had the right to decide for herself if the abortion was necessary.
The arguments were built on the Ninth Amendment which protects implicit rights hinted at but not explicated elsewhere in the Constitution and on the Fourteenth Amendment which prohibits states from denying citizens life, liberty, or property without due process of the law. In the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut case the U. S. Supreme Court established that a constitutional right to privacy was found in both the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments so Wedding and Coffee argued that the Texas abortion law denied Roe her right to privacy which should protect the right of a woman to decide whether or not to become a mother.
The defendant tried arguing that a fetus has legal rights which must be protected by the Constitution claiming ‘that the right of the child to life is superior to that of a woman’s right to privacy. ” The Judges ruled that the Texas law did in fact violate Roe’s right to privacy in the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments and that a woman did have a right to terminate her pregnancy if she wished. The case then proceeded to the U. S. Supreme Court on appeal.
Supreme Court Hearing Wedding, Coffee, Tootles and Floyd stood before the Supreme Court on December 13, 1971. At that time, 42 friend of the court (mica curiae) briefs were filed with the rout supporting a woman’s right to choose an abortion. Although seven Judges were present during the proceeding after hearing the arguments the case was deemed so significant that the Court ordered it to be argued again once the newly appointed justices, William Rehnquist and Lewis Powell, had Joined the Court. The case was retired on October 1 1, 1972.
On January 22, 1973 Justice Harry Blackburn wrote the majority opinion for the 7-2 which ruled in favor “sensitive and emotional nature of the abortion controversy. ” (Roe v. Wade, n. D. ) The Aftermath The ruling, based on the right to privacy, recognized the right that a woman can ruminate her pregnancy during the first and second trimesters (6 months) of her pregnancy when the fetus has little to no chance of surviving outside of the womb and to seek an abortion without unreasonable interference from the state.
The state fetus is considered viable except in cases where the mother’s life or health is at risk. The decision invalidated all state laws that limited a woman’s access to abortion during the first trimester. The decision resulted in 19 states having to rework their abortion laws and 31 states having their entire strict anti-abortion laws wiped out. My Opinion I feel that the U. S. Supreme Courts ruling was valid. As a woman I do feel like abortion should between a woman and her doctor. Recently Texas had tried to revoke the laws that Roe vs… Wade implemented.
The bill died due to technicalities 5 hours after it was decided that the Roe vs… Wade ruling would be revoked. I believe that Roe’s attorneys represented her and all woman very well and that the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments do protect a woman’s right to privacy, especially when it’s about becoming a mother or not. By making abortion legal we don’t have to worry bout “back alley’ abortions which are performed by doctors with very little morals, furnishings, and if something were to go wrong it would be hard to fix without a proper operating room.
Bibliography Dawn Stacey M. De, L. (n. D. ). About Abortion. Retrieved July 18, 2013 from about. Com: http://contraception. About. Com/do/counterrevolutionaries/a/botheration. HTML Roe v. Wade, 4. U. (n. D. ). Retrieved July 18, 2013 from http://surprise. ]sustain. Com/us/ 410/113/case. HTML Roe V. Wade. Anti Essays. Retrieved July 28, 2013, from the World Wide Web: http:// www. Antisepsis. Com/free-essays/87026. HTML